Postgame Quotes • Sept. 28, 2013
East Carolina 55, North Carolina 31
North Carolina Head Coach Larry Fedora
Very disappointing performance by the Tar Heels today. It was hard for me to find something positive from the sidelines, I'm going to have to look at the film to find the positives in this game and to try to build on some things. We've got, as I've said before, we've got a long way to go. (There are) still too many missed tackles defensively, still too many penalties, not playing smart and still not clicking on offense, you know, unable to run the ball efficiently. So we still have to get a lot better.
On what went wrong on defense
That's a good question because we wanted to, we went into the game saying we're going to at least stop the run and make them throw the football, well we didn't do either, so I mean they ran it at will and threw it at will. And then the missed tackles were glaring when those came up. So I don't know, from standing on the sideline what the reasons were. I know this, you have to play the game with passion, you have to play it with enthusiasm, you have to play it with energy, no matter what happens. Doesn't matter what happens, you can't let one play affect the next play, and we obviously don't have that right now.
On the penalties
I don't know, I'd have to look at the penalties and see exactly what happened and why they happened. I can tell you this, there's no excuse for personal fouls, no matter what happens in a game.
On the lack of sacks
Good question. I'm not even sure we got close to (Shane Carden). He'd sit back there and throw the ball. But, you know, when you can run the ball at will, I mean, it's hard to do both. It's hard to defend against everything.
On Fedora's overall thoughts of ECU
I told Ruffin before the game this is by far his best team. You know, he's in year four, he's got his guys in there, they understand what he's trying to do and they believe in what he's doing, and they're playing like that. I told him that before the game, and he feels good about where he's at right now and he should be. He's in year four and they've bought in.
On Bryn Renner's performance in the first half
You know, I don't know if there was anybody offensively that was any good in the first half, I mean really. I don't put it on Bryn, I'm not sure that we did anything right in the first half, anywhere. Offensively, defensively, you know, we had a couple of good things happen in the special teams, but then we had some penalties on special teams also. But again, it's hard for me to tell you what went wrong when everything went wrong.
On whether this will cause him to revaluate expectations
My expectations aren't going to change for this football team. They're not going to change. Whether we meet those expectations, I don't know. But I can tell you this: we're going to keep working extremely hard to meet those expectations. But I'm not going to lower my expectations because of a poor performance, that's not going to happen.
On whether the players will bounce back from this loss
Like I told them in there, we're going to find out who we are. You find out about yourself when things are bad, and right now they're bad. So we're going to find out about each guy, we going to find out about myself, we're going to find out about the rest of the coaches, we're going to find out about every player on the football team.
UNC Player Quotes
Bryn Renner, Sr., QB
On why the loss happened
It's a team game. We didn't do our job in the first half by scoring enough points. We only scored ten points and put ourselves in a hole.
On why it took so long for the offense to get started
We just have to find something that works earlier in the game, and we're still searching for it.
On the ability of players this year versus last year
We just aren't scoring enough points. I think we have the caliber of athletes that can do it, and I know we can do it. We just have to find something that works and something that clicks and we can't fall off and lose confidence because we have a game coming up next week.
A.J. Blue, Sr., TB
On how the offense handled the game
I thought our expectations were still the same. I thought we started off a little slow and then we came back and picked it up. We always talk about guys being out, but we always talk about the next man being up so that's what it was in that situation. We just started slow and we had to pick it up.
On energy, enthusiasm, and passion
Definitely not a lot of passion, definitely not a lot of energy. And sometimes you don't have to be as talented as a team to win, you just have to have energy and passion and that's what we lacked today.
On where to get energy and passion for the field
I think we just have to stop waiting for one man to make a play. I think our guys just have to step up to the plate and decide to make a play. And I think it ultimately comes from the locker room. The second you strap up your pads you know whether you're going to give it 100 percent or not. I think the lack of focus and the lack of preparation is the reason we didn't have that energy and passion.
Tim Jackson, Sr., DT
On how the team played today
It's a rough day, but you have to credit ECU, that's a good football team over there. They came out and played hard, we just made some mistakes when it came down to it. We just have to look at the film and see how we can get better.
On why the tackles weren't happening
That's a frustrating thing, when you're in a position to make a play and you don't make the play. At the end of the day it comes down to fundamentals, that's just something that we have to get better at. Stay mindful, I know I missed a couple of plays in the backfield when I should have made it. That's tough. And other times they probably out (played) us. We weren't in position, that's tough as well. You just have to keep playing. And it's tough to line up every now and then knowing what's going to happen. But that's a good football team at the end of the day and we each have got to respect the fact that they came out to play and we didn't get it done.
ECU Head Coach Ruffin McNeill
"It was great to get the win today. It had been a long two weeks for our group. [The] Virginia Tech loss, we took it hard as a football team. After the game I said that was the toughest locker room I've been a part of. The week off, it's always tough after you come up short, so the kids handled it well. I thought they were very resilient during the off week. I thought we did a good job of understanding the process of every day, going out and making sure they did things to make us successful today. We knew the game was on Saturday, we knew we [were going to] play a great football team. Larry [Fedora] does have a good football team. He will get his personality instilled in that team. Larry is a good football coach. But we knew we had to come in here...every day was important, not just today, but we began work Sunday night toward today. The process is the most important thing, understanding that - and this team did it.
I thought today, up front we did a good job. I thought we played well offensively and defensively. I was very proud of that group. They [North Carolina] did a lot of movement up front defensively. Our offensive line, those guys did a good job. We did a good job of establishing the run with "Tay" [RB Vintavious Cooper]. Obviously, that was good to find balance. I was proud of our team. That's a happy locker room there. This is a big win and again, for the players. If you know me by now, it's about the kids. If the kids win, then the program wins. If the program wins, the university wins."
On what it means to him personally to get a win at UNC
"It's a big win, but we needed a win. We felt like we've got a pretty good ball team - a chance to have a pretty good ball team - if we keep improving week-to-week. To get the win was big. Having played in this game, I've been asked about that quite a bit. It's special. And it's always an intense, hard-hitting game. It's good, and again [I'm] happy for the kids."
On how important the early defensive stops were
"Larry's got a high-octane offense. And he mentioned this, having to struggle a little bit early, but I know what Larry's going to do. He's done it everywhere he's been - Oklahoma State, Southern Miss, here. He'll do it here, [and] he's done it here. But we knew Bryn Renner was one of the top quarterbacks around, and he'll be one of the tops in the league. He's got a big-time receiver in [Eric] Ebron to throw it to, and some other guys. We knew they'd be ready to go, but I was proud of my defense. They did a lot of good things, a lot of good things today. This was a team win. It wasn't just an offensive win, it was a team win and I was proud of our defense for coming out early and making some stops. Then our special teams came through late and did great on kickoff coverage and returns. They [North Carolina] have great athletes on this team and we knew we had our hands full.